Drop-side cribs illegal, but still selling on eBay, Craigslist

Mechele R. Dillard's picture

Drop-side cribs may be illegal to buy, sell or donate, but you can still get one online, even through major sites like eBay and Craigslist.

Although classic “drop-side” cribs are no longer legal to sell or purchase in the U.S., even via secondhand transactions, such as online auctions or yard sales, the cribs have been showing up on websites such as eBay and Craigslist.

Drop-side cribs were banned in June 2011 with a compliance date of June 28. The rules are so strict, the government suggested people simply destroy and dispose of their old cribs and purchase a new one that complies with the updated safety standards, as the cribs cannot even be legally donated. According to a report by USA Today, eBay has agreed to shut down used crib auctions within a few weeks, while Craiglist provides a “prohibited items” page that does contain a link to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recalls page, although, at this writing, the Craigslist page does not mention the drop-side cribs specifically. According to the USA Today report, Craigslist intends to continue to let listings be moderated by site users. Spokeswoman Susan MacTavish Best said that Craigslist users are “empowered” to remove listings.

Thirty-two confirmed deaths occurred before the drop-side crib ban, typically resulting from missing or broken hardware, and from infants slipping into a “V-shaped gap” through broken adjustable rails, resulting in either suffocation or hanging. New safety rules for cribs require the mattress supports to be stronger, the hardware on the cribs to be more durable, and for the testing of the cribs to be more stringent before they are placed on the market. Some crib makers are developing kits to retrofit earlier models, making them legal once again, but most cribs made before the tougher standards were implemented are now illegal for retail or individual sale. But, as CPSC chairman Inez Tenenbaum told USA Today, the agency is not “raiding garage sales.” It is harder, she said, for the CPSC to monitor such transactions, including those made on sites such as eBay and Craigslist.

As of Aug. 7, used cribs were still being sold on eBay, and thousands, including the banned drop-side models, were listed for sale on Craigslist. Other sites, such as MyStrollers.com and Babyhaven.com, have been reported to have had drop-side cribs listed on their sites within the last week, but the cribs were removed when brought to the attention of site operators.

"It's very troubling that we continue to see them on the Internet," Tenenbaum said. "I want people to know there are safer cribs now on the market."

Read more about drop-side cribs on Huliq.com:
Drop-side crib ban in effect: No more buying, selling or donating

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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